Alvar Aalto remains Finland’s greatest architect, retains his place among the Modern Masters of twentieth-century architecture and is now recognized internationally as one of the world’s greatest architects of all time. For Finland, Aalto, through his architecture, furniture, glassware and sculpture, contributed perhaps more than any other Finn to the creation of the cultural identity of the new independent Finland and its promotion around the world. His Finnish Pavilions in Paris and New York from the Thirties placed Finland centre-stage, establishing its identity as a modern, innovative country and generated huge interest in this northern land of lakes and forests. He went on to work in 18 countries around the world, as well as designing many of Finland’s most important buildings of the 50s, 60s and 70s. This new biography of Aalto is the first to comprehensively cover his life, from the backwoods of Ostrabothnia to international fame and all of his buildings, from the early alterations and extensions to shops and houses in Jyvaskyla to Finlandia Hall. It draws on Aalto’s archive, recollections of former employees and contemporaneous publications to fully explore Alvar Aalto the architect, rather than simply Alvar Aalto’s architecture. For the first time, his life is set in the context of the events that surrounded and shaped it - the Finnish Civil War, the Great Depression, The Winter and Continuation Wars, the post-war boom in education, Finland’s industrialisation and eventually the social revolution of the 60s which led to his characterization as a member of a Finnish elite and temporary unpopularity. It covers his life from his childhood, growing up in regional Jyvaskyla and Alajarvi, his architectural studies in Helsinki, combat in the Civil War through to the founding of his first office, his early neo-classical work and his international breakthrough with the completion of Paimio Sanatorium and Viipuri Library. It deals with his personal life, his marriage to Aino, what working life in his first office was like, the architectural competitions, his key friendships and continuous financial difficulties. As his career progressed, it explores the patrons who were so important to him - the Gullichsens and the founding of Artek, his new American friends, professorship at MIT. After the war, the death of Aino, marriage to Elissa and the period of his greatest architectural achievements - Saynatsalo Town Hall, Otaniemi University and Imatra Church. It considers the organisation of his new office in Helsinki, his expanding team, fame and eventually vanity. The book seeks to understand what drove him, the combination of skills, talents and character traits, which led to his extraordinary global success. As you will be aware, there is no shortage of books on Alvar Aalto, or to be more precise, there is no shortage of books on Alvar Aalto’s Architecture. (Only one previous biography exists, published first in 1984 and now out of print). This book is about an architect and his architecture, written by another architect, not an architectural historian. It is the first, frank and fully-comprehensive biography of Alvar Aalto.
This "is a 28-volume set of monographs of the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto's (1898-1976) architectural and planning works. This series of books, which presents about five hundred built or unrealised designs, will be the most comprehensive work on Aalto's architectural output. Published by the Alvar Aalto Foundation and the Alvar Aalto Academy, written by experts, and including hitherto unpublished original material and new photographs, the monographs offer a penetrating view of Aalto's life"--Volume 6, inside front cover.
With the full cooperation of the Alvar Aalto Foundation, Goran Schildt has explored its archives, and some 20,000 letters, memoranda and contemporary newspaper cuttings as well as many building models, to ensure that every work is included in this volume.
This book uses seven of Alvar Aalto's most notable buildings to illustrate his working methods, his skills and his theories. When I picked it up I was a bit worried: How do you sum up fifty years of steady practice in seven buildings? Well, I got my answer. This is not a summary. Rather than a page or two on the hundreds of buildings & projects Aalto did, this book is an in depth study of a few major works. The essays are wonerful, the photos & sketches are great. A fine look at one of the true masters of the craft.
This "is a 28-volume set of monographs of the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto's (1898-1976) architectural and planning works. This series of books, which presents about five hundred built or unrealised designs, will be the most comprehensive work on Aalto's architectural output. Published by the Alvar Aalto Foundation and the Alvar Aalto Academy, written by experts, and including hitherto unpublished original material and new photographs, the monographs offer a penetrating view of Aalto's life"--V.6, Inside front cover.
Drawing on his own experience and intimate knowledge of Nordic architecture in Scandinavia, the author situates Aalto (1898-1976) within the realms of international modernism and Finnish culture, and explores his inspirations: the Finnish landscape and vernacular traditions, Italian domestic architecture, and Greek site planning, as well as the work of architects such as Gunnar Asplund and Le Corbusier. The complete range of Aalto's work is examined through a study of recurring themes and through detailed investigations of key projects. Abundantly illustrated. 10x11.75" c. Book News Inc.
One of the masters of modern architecture, Finland's Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) was a prolific and influential architect and a gifted designer. His unique contribution to modernism embraced context and the natural environment. Drawing on sources as diverse as the Finnish landscape, the Bauhaus, and Classicism, Aalto forged an organic design vocabulary that juxtaposed concrete and wood, copper and brick, volume and form in an original synthesis. His respect for function and use contributes to the lasting popularity of his buildings and furniture. Featured in this book are thirty-three of Aalto's most important pieces, including the Villa Mairea, the Town Hall at Säynätsalo, Baker Dormitory at MIT, and the Aalto vase, selected and analyzed in detail by Aalto scholar Göran Schildt, with an introduction by Professor Michael Trencher of Pratt Institute. Profusely illustrated with full-color photographs, as well as drawings and plans, this book surveys Aalto's career, from his Neoclassical works of the 1920s to his more organic designs of the 1940s and 1950s, from furniture and glass design to buildings completed posthumously. Works from Scandinavia, Europe, and the United States are represented. A chronological list of Aalto's major works and an index of their locations complete the volume.
"In the personality of Alvar Aalto, idealism and realism combined like the poles of a dynamo whose opposing forces form the source of its energy. He was a creative artist and idealist for whom social and technical issues were also at the very core of his architectural oeuvre. A significant, but less known phase of Aalto's life work occurred during and immediately after the 2nd World War, the subsequent reconstruction period of Finnish society. The nation was in a state of crisis, material and technical resources down to a minimum, but Aalto reacted to this situation energetically, realistically and with a great deal of optimism, developing innumerable projects from simple standard housetypes to large-scale reconstruction and planning strategies. The extreme circumstances following the aftermath of war forced people to re-evaluate what was essential and necessary and to eliminate all excess. An inventive mind might manage to create more from less. The present state of the world is also in a situation which requires serious evaluation and balancing of values and resources. This year's symposium is held in a climate of economic and social upheaval. In rich, industrial countries, the 'consumer fling' is over and the global balance is precarious to say the least. We have chosen the title of the symposium to stress the need to discuss what should be the essence of the art and technique of building when all that one can afford are the basic essentials. This discussion does not revolve around questions of architectural style but rather on the fundamental material and spiritual living conditions vital for our culture to survive and prosper. Alvar Aalto's partner, Elissa Aalto, was a central figure in the organisation of all the symposiums since 1976. She took part actively also in the planning of this year's symposium until her death in Spring 1994"--Foreword.